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Portland State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about Portland State University. Read about its admission info, financial aid and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU), the largest university in the state of Oregon, is located in downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River. Its campus is 50-acres, and its nearly 30,000 students come from around the nation and the world. PSU is only 90 minutes from the Pacific Ocean and mountains, including Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood.

The Portland Art Museum is walking distance from campus. Also within walking distance are venues such as a performing arts complex, a concert hall and the Oregon Historical Society. The Portland State Vikings, comprised of 5 men's teams and 8 women's teams, participate in the NCAA Division I-AA.


PSU has 8 schools and colleges: the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of Urban & Public Affairs, Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science, School of Business Administration, School of Education, School of Extended Studies, School of Fine & Performing Arts and School of Social Work. Students can select from more than 220 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. PSU also offers online courses though its Extended Campus program as well as high-school-level courses through its Independent Study program.

As of 2011, the social sciences programs as well as the business/management/marketing programs at PSU were the most popular for undergraduate students, each with nearly 700 enrollees. The School of Education was the most popular among graduate students, enrolling about nearly 600 students into master's degree programs.


Admission into PSU is based on high school GPA, SAT/ACT scores and completion of college preparatory courses. A GPA of 3.0 is required; however, students with GPAs lower than 3.0 may be admitted if they have acceptable SAT/ACT scores. For example, a GPA of 2.99 requires an ACT score of 23 or an SAT score of 1060.

PSU has a rolling admissions policy. Students will receive decision notification 4 to 6 weeks after all of their documents have been submitted. The priority filing date for fall quarter is December 1 of the year prior to the start of the program. Some undergraduate programs require an additional application, such as the child & family studies, business and engineering programs.

Tuition & Financial Aid

For the 2012-2013 academic year, undergraduate tuition was $136.80 per credit for state residents and $475 per credit for non-residents. As such, a state resident enrolled in 12 credit hours would pay $1,641.60 per semester, while a non-resident enrolled in 12 credit hours would pay $5,700 per semester. This amount does not include the mandatory building, incidental, health services and recreation center fees. The university offers payment plans that require students to make payment by the 10th of each month.

Many PSU students get tuition assistance through grants, scholarships and students loans. Several departments offer merit awards to undergraduates. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, for example, awards the F.S. Cater Endowed Prize in Mathematics and Statistics, a $1000 prize, to 1 graduate-level math student and 1 graduate-level statistics student each spring.

School Type Public, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, post-baccalaureate certificate, master's, doctoral**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Quarters*
School Setting Large city**
Student Body 22,780 undergraduate students and 5,804 graduate students as of 2011**
Student Housing 10 student buildings, including a First Year Experience building for freshmen*
Schools and Programs 8 schools and colleges, 220 programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 21 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies (343),
Master's: Social work (223),
PhDs: community psychology (9)
Post-baccalaureate certificate: Elementary education and teaching (128)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 13% in 4 years, 33% in 6 years, 41% in 8 years (students who began Fall 2003)**
Admission Rate 69% in Fall 2010**
Entering Class Size About 1,484 in Fall 2010**
First-Year Retention Rates 73% of full-time and 50% of part-time students who began in Fall 2010 returned in Fall 2011**
Average SAT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% of students received 460-590 in critical reading and 460-580 in math**
Application Due Date Priority filing is December 1 of prior year*
Decision Notification Date 4-6 weeks after all documents are received; may take longer between January and April*
Tuition (2011-2012) $136.80 per credit for residents, $475 per credit for non-residents**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal (39%), state/local (8%), institutional (32%), loans (51%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 70% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Portland State University, **Institute of Education Science, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751
  • Phone: 503-725-3511
  • Website:

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